When you look at the games industry and you think about how the games and we as a community have evolved, I think it’s safe to say while the industry is still young, it has yet to mature. So, when I heard about the upcoming documentary, Gaming in Color, I jumped at the chance to advance screen a film that explores LGBTQ issues in gaming.
Directed by Philip Jones, Gaming in Color attempts to shed light on the experiences of “gaymers,” communities that have launched to support queer gamers, how the individuals in the film perceive their reception by the “mainstream” gaming community as well as how individuals working in the industry are treated. The documentary focuses in and around the first LGBTQ gaming conference GaymerX. Jones chose a wide variety of individuals for the cast, including game creators, developers, journalists, community leaders, academics and convention attendees.
I really liked the diversity in the cast. Each individual brought a different outlook and story to the film that embodies a desire to increase diversity and awareness in the games industry. I also appreciated that the filmmakers were not afraid to bring up some of the hateful comments found on YouTube and other media regarding LGBTQ issues without getting slogged down in a race to the bottom of human decency. Throughout, Gaming in Color stayed above reproach in their handling of the matter.
While there are many positives with the cast and their enthusiasm, I can’t help but feel the message of the documentary was a little lost somewhere. I felt like it was almost apologetic at times in bringing awareness of the issues with a passive hope as to what it wants for the future. As an LGBTQ ally, I looked for more of a call to arms or perhaps a little more hard research behind it. I just don’t see this documentary making an impact on the consciousness of the everyday gamer.
Overall, Gaming in Color may not have been the documentary I wanted, but you cannot help but enjoy the enthusiasm and excitement of the cast members as they discuss their experiences in the gaming community. The hour-long film goes by fairly quickly, though sometimes the pacing could use a little more work. I still believe we are a long way from the level of maturity we need as a community to accept all people regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation, but this documentary is start.
Gaming in Color website